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  • Manager hails players' mentality in semi-final success

    Manager hails players' mentality in semi-final success

    By: Tony Connelly on 21 Oct, 2017 15:39

  • BRENDAN Rodgers paid tribute to his players’ mentality after they booked their place in the League Cup final with a 4-2 win over Hibernian, also extending the unbeaten domestic run to 60 games. 

    Celtic had little time to recover from their difficult UEFA Champions League tie against Bayern Munich in midweek, but the players showed an impressive resolve to overcome a determined Hibs side at Hampden, with Mikael Lustig and Moussa Dembele scoring two goals apiece.

    Speaking after the game, the Celtic manager said: “I’m delighted to reach another final, our third one in a year, and it’s a great tribute to the mentality of the players.

    “We’ve come back off a tough game against Bayern Munich, a very sapping game mentally and physically, so this could be a real banana skin coming into a semi-final against a Hibs team buoyed by their strong start to the season and how well they’ve been playing.

    “For us to come here, get the win and play at times the way we did and get the goals, I’m naturally very happy.”

    Celtic dominated the first-half and led 2-0 at the break. However, Neil Lennon’s side fought back to make it 3-2, albeit their first goal came courtesy of an inexplicable penalty award, before Dembele put the result beyond doubt with his second of the afternoon.

    “It was a tough game, there’s no doubt about that," the Celtic manager said. "Lenny’s done a great job with Hibs, first to get them promoted and then to get them really competitive. Like you saw, today was a really competitive game.

    “This is a competition that started our journey together as a team. This last year we’ve written history at the club and we want to keep rewriting it, and that comes with this relentless mentality to win and perform.

    “We know we can play and perform, and our way is to defend with aggression and to attack and create and score goals. Today we scored four goals and I’m very, very pleased with that.”

    He added: “We put it to bed now. We have a big game on Wednesday, but when we come back here again we aim to win again.”

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